Book Babies

“Book Babies is an excellent resource for getting a jumpstart on my daughter’s education. She loves to walk around the house with the books and bring me books to read to her. She’s already turning the pages and pointing at the pictures she likes the most.”

– Parent of an 18-month-old
in the Book Babies Class of 2018

Imagine you are the new mom of a beautiful baby girl…

You are intrigued when the Durham Connects visiting nurse asks if you want to learn more about Book Babies, a program to provide new books free of charge to families of newborns. You know that it is important to read to your child, but books are not affordable, and finding the time to go to the library is tough – so you eagerly agree to be contacted by the program.

Soon a Book Babies home visitor comes to your home with a bag brimming with 10 brand new books. By enrolling, you will receive a home visit and another batch of new books at regular intervals until your baby starts kindergarten. Already, you can tell that holding your daughter, showing her the pictures in the books, and describing them to her soothes her when she is fussy. Your special book time with your baby soon becomes a wonderful part of your daily routine.

mackenziedad0313croppedThis is Book Babies.

The goal of Book Babies is kindergarten-readiness. We give 20 new, age appropriate books to participating children and parents every year from birth until their children start kindergarten; these books are delivered via a home visit which also provides the parents with literacy tools and resources. By the time a child graduates from Book Babies and starts kindergarten, she will have a home library of 100+ books and her parents will have received 10+ literacy coaching home visits.

With 80% of brain development occurring in the first three years, access to books starting at birth is essential to kindergarten-readiness and long-term school success.

In 2016, 205 newborns, babies, and toddlers in Durham participated in Book Babies. Each Book Babies family will continue to receive home visits and books until their child starts kindergarten.
  • See our 2016 Book Babies Final Report here.
  • Read an executive summary of the 2017 findings from our first Book Babies evaluation by Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy here.
  • Read the press release about these findings here.